STEM education charity TechFest has brought back its STEM Next essay competition following a successful pilot during 2021, with pupils from across the UK, Vietnam, India, Iran and the USA already signed up to take part.
Open to pupils aged 16-18, the programme is designed to help students explore their future career interests in more detail, offering a taste of industry experience and the opportunity to add something unique to their UCAS applications.
The competition is a solo research and writing project with topics spanning six different industries.
Pupils can choose to write about the energy transition, medicine and veterinary sciences, biological sciences, technology and innovation, space sciences and food, drink and agriculture.
Sponsored by Acciona, Energy Resourcing, Ocean Winds, Worley and TechnipFMC, TechFest has also called on a variety of industry volunteers from many different organisations across a range of sectors, who will be on hand to offer advice and guidance.
Working independently, pupils must carry out in depth research and interview at least one industry professional before submitting an essay for their preferred category.
Participants are also urged to get feedback from peers and teachers before the final submission.
Commencing June 16, pupils have until September 16 to complete their final submission and can use time throughout summer to attend a series of virtual events.
In addition, entrants will have access to a series of lectures presented by University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and TechFest staff, which will focus on research, writing and critical thinking skills to support of their entry.
Dr Martha Gavan, education manager at TechFest said: “We’re thrilled to bring STEM Next back this year. Last year we were able to reach students all over the UK who were interested in taking part and this year we’ve managed to reach pupils even further afield, in the USA and Asia.
“Taking part in this project is a great opportunity for pupils to not only get exposure to industry, but to start building connections with mentors and specialists, which are likely to benefit students down the line when it comes to applying for jobs.
“Additionally, it’s an added benefit for both UCAS and job applications as it shows interest in these areas outside their school studies.”
Submissions will be assessed by an esteemed panel of judges and Amazon gift vouchers are up for grabs for first, second and third place with the winner being announced in October 2022.
The deadline to register for STEM Next is June 15. To sign up for the competition, visit https://techfest.org.uk/education/ages-over-11/stem-next-essay.
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